Archive for the ‘Starters’ Category

Deep fried calamari rings with stuffed japanese tofu and minced chicken

July 8, 2009

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Yes..Chicken again ..but this time its not the main ingredients la…its the squid lo..or shall i say fried calamari rings with stuff japanese tofu with minced chicken meat. So the long kan the name..hehe.. Well, i remember eat this dish but was done in a different way (my mom’s way..) What she did was, she stuffed the squid itself with the minced meat (she use pork meat last time –  yes muah..porky pork..hehe) and then she sort of braised it for a short period of time for it to soften the squid and at the same time to cook the stuffed meat. With that cooking method, it releases the juice from the meat that really goes well with rice.

So, what i did was, about the same concept but i did it in different stages.

DSC06350Stage 1: I cooked the minced chicken (yes, i didn’t use porky pork.. 🙂 halal ma ho muah..hehe ).. Simple, just finely chopped some garlic and shallots, lightly saute them then add minced chicken meat. Seasoned with some oyster sauce (Lee Kum Kee – My family’s all time fav oyster sauce brand..sejak turun kemurun ..LOL) .

DSC06353Stage 2: Cut the cleaned squid (yes, my ah muah-ma cleaned it for me already) into about close to an inch thick. And here comes the fun part, deep frying it. Before that, i coated the squid with flour ( i used tepung gandum, why? cause its cheap ba..LOL) and just before i put into the oil to fry..i dip the coated squid into another batter that i mix with tepung gandum with cold water. Ha..u must be thinking, why cold batter?.. Now when cold batter hits the hot oil, you know what happens rite?..besides the oil percik to you, it’ll also make the squid crunchy even though after its cold. Cool huh..try it, but make sure you’re ready for the percik actions la..haha..

Last stage: Assemble the dish with the remaining ingredient – Japanese tofu. If you look at this dish, can you think of a typical chinese dish? That sounds like “Mapor-tofu”?. Its a dish itself that has only 2 main ingredients – Tofu (normal white squarish type) and minced meat (and yes, its usual cooks with porky pork) and to finish off with some chopped scallions. So, what i did was, for the japanese tofu but i didn’t cook with the minced tofu. Instead, i steamed it separately. Then cut it, and gently stuffed into the fried squid. And to serve this, instead of scallions, i use finely chopped cucumber. Something different in a way but same in still stick to main ingredients…. Squid with minced meat like mom’s way of cooking. Enjoy.

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Sim

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Salami – 3 ways

July 7, 2009

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Salamis, i recently ate some from my ah muah, she made me her signature sandwich – Salami with cheddar cheese and some greens with some mayonnaise.. yummy. From there, i come out with above, Salami – 3 ways. Well, actually it can be more then 3 ways la, just that i like the 3 above la..hehehe..simple and yet stick to the point – pairing with salami with cheese and caramalized onions as well as roasted bell peppers.

Well, i won’t write much about this as its straight forward. Just buy the salami (in this case i bought both smoke beef and smoked chicken) and assemble it like above. Not much about the caramelized onions, as some of you might already know how to slowly cooked the onions till they’re caramelized (and i don’t mean by adding sugar to it).

You know what?, come to think of it, after all the “cooking”, i actually prefer the prep work to take pics. Though, cooking was my first passion la. I always find it challenging to get the right lighting, right angle and the right color combinations.

So without saying more, i leave you with the rest of the pics that i took. Enjoy.

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Sim

Egg-net with stir fried chicken

July 6, 2009

Hi all food lovers, yes i’m back (for a week la..cz take leave ma..otherwise..hmm..duno la..when i can start cooking again..sigh..). Gosh, when was the last time i even log-in to this blog of mine..haha..well..yeah..started again la..hopefully will cook some nice and yet simple dish la. So yes, eggs again. A simple and yet satisfying ingredients that i can think of at the moment. Of course with some meat lo (i used chicken drumstick..tell u more later about drumstick..lol). DSC06310

As you can see from the pic, there’s only 4 main ingredients. Eggs, chicken drumstick, cucumber and bell pepper. I called it egg-net is because it sort of wrap the entire side ingredients into one. Which is kinda hard to make at first, i tried a few times just to get it right.

Then, the drumstick. Well, i marinade with some finely chopped ginger, garlic, honey and soy sauce to taste. Oh yeah, i did promised to tell about the drumstick story rite?..haha..all i can say is that, i actually have a daily supply of drumstick in the fridge (mom bought and deboned it so that i can cook it anytime)..so yeah..don’t be surprised that my next menu here has got something to do with drumstick again..lol.
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The last two ingredients are, cucumber and bell peppers. Here, i roasted the bell pepper then finely chopped them. Same goes with the cucumber (no i didn’t roast the cucumber la…just finely chopped only). Lastly, i top with black sesame seed to give that contrast to the dish. There you go, one of my first dish that i come out since..since..the last that i publish anything here la..enjoy.

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Rolled Seared Beef with Enoki Mushroom

December 1, 2008

dsc04717Moooo….yes..its lembu time..hehe..super cow that is.  For this recipe, i use the strips of loin which is suitable for grilling and searing to wrap with enoki mushroom. No i didn’t create this recipe and yes i copy punya ba.hehe..cause i find it very interesting when i saw the pic from the website with that thingy (enoki mushroom) sticking out..hehe..Anyway, i love beef very muchie, though some chinese religion doesn’t eat beef…hmm..i wonder why..wasted kan..hehe..

dsc04723To prepare, very simple (No, seriously..very simple..no joke :))..For the enoki, you just have to cut the ends and rinse it. Then i sauté the enoki with some finely chopped garlic with butter and of course peanut oil to stop the butter from burning kan..hehe :). Season with some oyster sauce, just a little, not too much and a touch of Mirin (yes, japanese rice wine but with a lower alcohol content) .For about 3mins or until its tender. Remove the enoki from the pan and let it cool before wrapping with the beef strips. 

As for the beef strips, i pound it with a pestle to make a thinner slice. Then, take a few enoki mushrooms and roll it. Now, the best part, remember earlier that i cook the enoki? With the same pan, i seared the beef together with the sauce from the enoki. The beef is seared and cook with the sauce. Seasoning here is definitely not required at all. The natural beef flavor and the combination of the sauce from the enoki is absolutely delicious i tell you. Can be eaten as an appetizer or meal itself. Simply delicious. Enjoy 🙂

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Caramelize Chicken skewers

November 11, 2008

Remember i once said “cooking without a recipe”? hehe..well this is one of them. This is the combination of two of my favorite ingredients, chicken and onion. That’s all. Simple kan?hehe..What is so different in this dish is that i never use oil to cook. Instead, i use sugar. Yup, your rite..just sugar to cook this chicken. When sugar dsc04574reaches certain temperature (i.e the caramel stage) its very hot. And from the heat of the caramel, it cooks the chicken without the use of oil lo. 🙂 This method of cooking i learned many years ago, when my mum first bought this special type of cooking wok. That has a mini thermometer thingy on the cover/knob of the wok. And you can even cook pizza on that wok..cool huh..hehe..i forgot how already..hmm

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To start, i marinade the chicken. For this, i used a drumstick. You can use any part that you like, but the thigh part is the best for grilling or when you deal with dry heat. wink wink 🙂 So this time, i deboned it before i marinade it so that the marinade gets into the fiber for fast absorption. heh 🙂 . Then the onion, simple la, just cut into cubes and use about one or two keping for each skewers. Tips again, soaked the skewers in water so that when you grill it, it won’t burn or splintering. Heh! 🙂 Another thing you learn today kan?hehe..:)

 

dsc04585Now since i used sugar to cook this chicken, heat is the issue here. If the heat is too high, you’ll end up with a burn and bitter taste chicken. Therefore, be patience. 🙂 Once the sugar start to caramelize, that is when you put the chicken in. At this point, don’t kacau the chicken. Let it be for a few mins before you mess with it, otherwise you’ll end up with some chicken stick to the pan. heh :)There you go, another tip. wink wink 🙂 After about 4mins, flip it and then cover it. Let it kinda steam the chicken. From here, you’ll get the juices from the chicken and it mixes with the caramel, equals sweet sauce. 🙂 There you go, simple 2 ingredients to make this succulent and juicy caramel chicken skewers. Enjoy! 🙂 

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Sim

Grilled Eggplant roll with minced chicken

November 8, 2008

dsc04503Eggplant or aubergine or brinjal ..no matter how you like to called it..to me its the same..haha..its one of my fav ingredients to use. I saw this recipe from a magazine that my sis got it for free, and its in chinese (and yes, i don’t read chinese though i’m one..hehe..sorry ba..i was from a malay school ba..hehe ). Anyway, the original recipe was to use cream cheese and some herbs. As you already know by now that i always try to mimic the preparation but make my own presentation. Clever kan?hehe.. 🙂 And in this case, i substitute the cream cheese with minced chicken. I tell you, punya panjang itu process. I think kan, by the time you finish reading this, i don’t think  you’ll even want to try making this dish.. heh 😛dsc04502

dsc04501dsc04505So here it goes, ready? hehe..to start, i marinade the chicken with my favourite marinade, which consist of ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, sesame oil and some olive oil. In addition to that, i spread some butter underneath the skin of the drumstick and i use some dry herbs too, thyme. A lot kan?haha..you wait la, belum lagi i sapu some honey after 10mins of roasting..hehe..this is to give the golden crust on the skin of the chicken (though it doesn’t really matter since i’m going to minced it anyway kan..but it does add some sweetness to the chicken).

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dsc04511Right, after roasting the chicken for about 25mins at 200ºc and let it rest for about 10mins or so, then i start de-boning the drumstick (yes, i do know how to debone a chicken, well for this case, its just a drumstick ba 🙂 not that hard anyway) I used pestle and mortar to minced the chicken meat instead of a blender to create that rustic look when i spread it on the grilled eggplant (ha!, i still haven’t explain how i prepare the eggplant..aiyo, banyak kerja kan?hehe..wait la.). Anyway, nothing were added to the minced chicken except the fats and flavors from the chicken when i roast it. Fantastic sauce i tell u, rich in flavors. :p

dsc04528Well, the eggplant. Actually, its kinda simple. Cut it length ways. Not to thin though cause when you cook it kan, it’ll shrink ba. So, with one eggplant, you can only get a good 3-4 slices only ba. Before you start grilling in, sapu some olive oil on it and season it with some salt and pepper lo. To get the grill marks kan, i used my ikea grill pan, lama sudah didnt use. Lucky still usable.hehe.. 🙂 After grilling it, again, let it rest before spreading the minced chicken on it. The rolling part, i must say its the easiest ba, you’ll enjoy it so much that you wish you got lots to roll. LOL!. Anyway, to add some color to this dish, i serve with some chopped tomatoes yang ah muah bagi me, erm..few days back..ehhe.. still edible 🙂 Enjoy!

Sim

Egg wrapped with smoked salmon and red pepper

November 2, 2008

 You must be thinking, “Ewa..guna salmon eh..so kaya ar?”hehe..no la..actually this is not what i wanted to do. Let’s just say, not all things turn out to be what you imagine. Hmm…that’s life la tu. I was thinking of lollipop with some egg and salmon in it, but then turn out to be like this pulak..haha..i should have bought the salmon fillet instead of the salmon strips. Its easier to roll ba kan..hmm..but hey..its cheaper with the strips and its smoked some more..hehe..so if i ever do this again..i’ll get those salmon fillet la..

Anyway, i started with the egg. Simple, for the small roll, i used half of an egg and for the big roll, is 1 whole egg. Beat the egg until the yolk and the whites combine and add a tablespoon of milk. As you can see from the pics, i only used 2 eggs la. 🙂 Now comes the cooking part. You want it to be thin kan, so cook in under moderate to low heat. And make sure you use a non-stick pan and always cook with some oil. 

Once its done, set aside. Here comes the fun part, rolling rolling rolling. 🙂 Hmm..since i got only 2 ingredients kan, so its kinda hard to make it “sushi-maki size” if you know what i mean.. So i have to really keep it as tight as possible lo. I don’t know where’s my bamboo thingy that i used to roll my sushi last time, so i use the cling film instead (improvise ma.hehe). As soon as you’re done rolling kan, you have to let it chill in the fridge. Again you have to sabar ba. No matter how much you want to see the end result. And this will take about 20-30mins, if over night would be better. Then cut it and serve it with skewers or just like that with a some wasabi and black sesame seeds. 🙂

Stuffed bell pepper with tuna mix

October 26, 2008

You can ring my beeeelllll..ring my bell.pepper..hehehe…yes something new this time..its bell pepper. Saw this recipe on one of my “party and appetizer” cook book. And as always, i did something different from the original recipe. With the ingredients that i have (left of over from previous cookings..hehe). Well, i roast the bell pepper that i bought this morning at Tmn Tun (wa..not cheap eh, different color different price ba..ish) anyway, its 3 for $4.50. Depends of its size as well..hmm.. So i bought green, yellow and red.) Until they’re hangus (burned, skin turned black) then let it rest and covered (so that when it cools down, its easier to peel off the skin) As you can see, i only use quarter of each of the pepper (i wanna try out first, not sure whether its nice or not..i mean..presentation wise..hehe)..

Tuna filling..well this is easy. I just buy one of those canned tuna flakes in water and mix it with mayonnaise, finely chopped onions and garlic, water chestnut and some wasabi paste.Simple kan?..hahaha..Here comes the difficult part, spreading the tuna filling and folding it. To actually fold nicely and to be able to hold its form is something that i did a few times today. The first time i did it…hmm..doesn’t really look presentable ba, i mean.it look kinda chunky. Then i tried again, to cut it and trim the sides and to make it thinner. Yup, boleh sudah..so the trick here is to thinly cut it pepper and never over spread the fillings. 🙂 Try it yourself. You might not like it..hehe..cause its so time consuming ba. This will definately cost a lot if i were to include this in my catering menu..hehe..sorry ar. 🙂 Since i’m not working today, so i guess i just give it a try lo. But, one thing for sure, the next time if i were to do this again, i’ll get myself bigger bell peppers :p easier ba to fold. Don’t you think so? Let me know if you really did this appetizer yeah? Enjoy!

Steam Japanese Tofu with Prawn and chinese mushroom

October 23, 2008

Japanese tofu or also known as egg tofu, you either love them or hate them. Some find it too soft and eggie, some don’t. I find it very cheap.hahha..yes. I bought this japanese tofu, 3 for only Rm2 at cold storage (Summit, subang. No i didn’t go all the way there to buy the tofu la. Got replacement rpm ma in the morning..hehe). Remember the previous prawn dish? That i have some left over prawns? About only 5 la, but good enough for me and my mom (since in the afternoon its just 2 of us anyway and you must be thinking 5 enough?really?haha..iya ba, now days..don’t really eat that much..hmmm) Anyway, thanks to my mum, i thought i have to deveined the prawns again kan, tapi sudah..my mum done it for me already..hehe…thanks mum.muaks!..So for that i give her some of my prawns lo..hehehe good son kan..(cis..konon la.hehe)

Chinese mushroom? Why chinese? why not indian or malay or hindustan or keling?hehe..ops..anyway.its chinese cause i think it is la, well they look like one anyway. Before cooking them, you need to rinse them a bit and soak them in hot water until they’re soft and tender. About 30mins or so, squeeze out access water and cut the stem and cut into cubes. Don’t throw away the water, add a little oyster sauce and a dash of sesame oil and that will be your sauce for the dish.

Place the tofu on a plate, then mushroom on top of each tofu and lastly prawn on top of it. Pour the sauce into the plate and let it steam together with the tofu. For about less than 10mins (as u know, prawn cooks easily and your mushroom is already tender anyway, so not too long yeah). You’ll know when its done when the prawn starts to curl up and it’s colour changes orangie pink. With the mushroom’s sauce steam together with the tofu and the juice from the prawn from steaming, hmm…need i say more? And the best thing is that you can have this as an appetizer or a meal itself. 🙂

Prawn skewers with trio mayonnaise

October 16, 2008

Right, as promise on my prev, prev and prev blog (if u got baca properly..hehe) that i’m supposed to make prawn lollipop kan..hmm…some how tak jadi la.haha..well as you can see, its not that lolli after all..hehe..i don’t have that cornstarch to bind them (the prawn mix) together ba..ish..so i use normal flour saja..anyway..jadi jugak la, i mean the taste wise. Hemm..So, the ingredients are, prawn, water chestnut, onion, spring onion, rosemary and 1 whole egg. To marinade, i add a little sesame oil and oyster sauce lo, thats all. 🙂

First, with the prawns kan, which i bought today (after my rpm @ uptown),i think was the cheapest that icould find,in fact, thats my usual place where i get my prawns (though the lady boss never recognized me..heh) its about $9/500g of course got more bigger and expensive one la..but obviously not necessary since i’m going cincang (minced in malay)it anyway..keke..so yeah, so i peel and deveined the prawns one by one. Fyi, i just use half of what i’ve bought, saving it for another starter (coming soon..this time, its going to be Prawn with thai mango salad..hah!.)  

 

 

Done with the prawns, then i add the remaining ingredients in lo (water chestnut, onion-diced, spring onion-finely chopped and rosemary -snip snip heheh). Then i move on to the sauces, which is the mayonnaise mix in 3 different ways (sweet-orange, sour-lime and spicy-wasabi). This is very easy, simply zest the lime and orange with their juices (make sure that the juice is less than the amount of mayonnaise, otherwise it will change the consistency of the sauce) and for the wasabi, just add in the japanese horseradish lo. 🙂

For presentation, i just add some black sesame which i bought today also at cold storage (and its organic punya ba, ish you think its cheap ar..hmm..i also forgot how much sudah). As you can see, i used bamboo skewer. You can switch that with skewers made from sugar cane or even use rosemary’s stem. Hmm..will definately try again to make into a ball shape..sigh..